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Pickled Shallot 'Black Ended Pickle'

 
 
sms
 
Reply Thu 23 Dec, 2010 02:54 pm
I recently made Delia Smith's Pickled Shallots in Sherry Vinegar recipe but all the cut ends of the pickled onions have gone black. I followed the ingredients and method exactly. Does anyone with experience know why this has happened? I'd be very grateful for your advice.
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Dec, 2010 03:15 pm
@sms,
The only thing I can think of as a possibility is that there was a reaction to the metal in the knife you used to cut the ends.

Some knives made of carbon steel may impart a metallic or "iron" flavor to acidic foods. If they aren't properly cleaned, oiled and stored, they can also develop a patina that could have rubbed onto the shallots as they were cut. The acid in the pickling brine would then react to it and turn the cut edges dark.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Dec, 2010 04:45 pm
Why don't you write Delia and ask her? She'd have more experience with this that some of us.
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2010 02:57 am
http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/pickled-shallots-in-sherry-vinegar.html

She has this photo of the finished results of her recipe. The shallots in the jar look as you describe. Perhaps it is supposed to be that way. How do yours look when compared to this?

http://www.deliaonline.com/Images/xlarge/ch058-pickled-shallots-22165.jpg

If you still have doubts, there are links on her site to a forum and her Facebook page where you can post your concern and get clarification.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2010 05:09 am
@Butrflynet,
Youve got the ANTHOXANTHIN Blues. This chemical, along with a bunch of other unique ones in the onion family, will react with Aluminum or carbon steel in acidic media to turn brown. SO where you have cross cuts on the onion you would have these chemicals forming the deep brown precipitates.
I know, from Cooks Country, they stated that you oughta do all the normal cooking fiorst and then gradually bring up the acid >AND dont cook in ALuminum clad pans when you do this type pof processing. Potatoes have these anthoxanthisn too and thats why they turn black at the "eye nodes" .

I dont think it hurts anything as far as palatability or safety, maybe whenever you pull some shallots from the jar, just grab the end with tongs and slip the ends off. Youll still have a small spot but it wont be too objectionable.
This happens a lot anyway, we just keep the A,uminum clad pots (everybpdy has some) on a back side of the pot rack.
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2010 03:54 pm
@farmerman,
Good to know I was on the right track with my suggestion that it may be the material in the knife used. Didn't consider that it could also be the pot. I try to remove all reactive cookware from the kitchen.
0 Replies
 
sms
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 06:06 am
@Butrflynet,
Thank you so much for your reply. My onions look exactly like the ones in the photo. The knife I used is a Kitchen Devil Stainless Steel Parer and the saucepan is also stainless steel, so nothing enamel or aluminium went anywhere near the processing of the pickles. I have an old 'how to preserve things' booklet that tells of the pitfalls of certain utensils when the ingresients come into contact with them so I was careful about what I used.

I am very grateful that you took the time to drop me a line, especially over Christmas. Hope you had a good one.

Happy New Year

SMS
0 Replies
 
sms
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 06:08 am
@Mame,
Thank you for your post. I went to the Delia website but there was a note saying that individual queries could not be answered. I obviously looked at the wrong bit.
SMS
0 Replies
 
sms
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 06:13 am
@farmerman,
Thank you for your post. I was very careful to use only stainless steel utensils when making this recipe. I've had a picture sent to me of the actual pickles as made by 'Blessed Delia of the Kitchen' and mine look exactly the same so I'm less worried than I was, they also taste fab so I'll obviously just have to get used to the black ends.
I really appreciate that you took the time to reply especially over Christmas.

SMS
0 Replies
 
sms
 
  2  
Reply Fri 31 Dec, 2010 05:35 am
Only just learned about thumbs-up so have been back and added my thanks in an A2K way. sms
0 Replies
 
 

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